The healing effects of music have been noted for millenniums. In ancient Greece, Apollo was both the god of music and medicine. Pythagoras, one of the sages in ancient Greece, demonstrated that music actually could change behavior patterns and accelerate the healing process. Plato said, “Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, a gaiety and life to everything.” It is said that Alexander the Great was restored to sanity by the music of a lyre—a stringed instrument. In the Himalayas and Sri Lanka, daily sacred healing chants have been performed by Buddhist monks for more than 2,000 years.
Music therapy has been used in hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes and resorts for centuries. The right music can play an important role in calming the mind, allowing the full benefit of a treatment to restore peace and harmony within the body. Sound healing, like other mind-body treatments offered in spas, helps to break the stress cycle. Music energizes and relaxes one’s body, awakens our feelings, motivates our actions, soothes us to sleep, helps us not to think, wakes us up and ignites the soul.
When the sound of music enters the brain, the electrical energy released by the neurons creates various frequencies of brain waves. The different frequencies are called beta, alpha, theta and delta waves. Beta waves are most prevalent during focused and active thinking, alpha waves during relaxation and quiet creativity, theta waves during meditation and before sleep, and delta waves during sleep.